A record bid Friday of $3,456,789 won the right to have an eight-person “power lunch” with Omaha investor Warren Buffett.
The bid came in an annual auction to benefit a San Francisco charity. The money goes to support the Glide Foundation’s anti-poverty programs.
Glide officials said the winning bidder wants to remain anonymous.
The contribution will bring to $15 million the total raised since the lunch-with-Buffett auction began 13 years ago.
Bidding began Sunday evening at $25,000 and moved slowly, not reaching $200,000 until Thursday. But it picked up Friday, hitting $500,000 at 1:38 p.m. and doubling that at 8:24 p.m., about an hour before the auction would close.
Ten bidders took part, logging 106 bids.
In the last hour, there was little action until the final minute, when the highest bid jumped from $1,200,100 past the $3 million mark. People from Glide and eBay, the online auction company that donated its services, were at a party at LuLu’s restaurant in San Francisco to see the end of the bidding.
Denise Lamott, a spokeswoman for Glide, said people at the party were watching the $1.2 million bid, saying, “Come on! Come on!”
When two bidders began posting bids over $3 million in the final seconds, she said, “It was pandemonium. Everybody was high-fiving. Everybody was going crazy.”
Lamott said the size of the bid means a continuation of programs conducted by Glide, founded by Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani.
Glide, which was supported by Buffett’s late wife, Susan Thompson Buffett, provides meals, health care, education, housing and other support for the poor.
The winner of the two previous auctions was Ted Weschler. He bid a total of $5,252,722 in those auctions.
Weschler was hired by Buffett last year to manage some of the investments of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the Omaha-based investment company that Buffett heads.
The Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York City agreed to host the lunch and donate the expense, as it has for previous Glide auctions. But for the past two years, Weschler opted for lunch at Piccolo Pete’s Restaurant in Omaha, a Buffett favorite.
The Omaha World-Herald Co. is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
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